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Calgary Family Law Blog

Family law: Questions to ask prior to parting ways for good

When couples make the decision to end their marriages, they likely exhausted all avenues to keep it together. Family law rules in Canada don't make it mandatory that couples ask themselves hard-hitting questions before breaking up, but it may be a wise thing to do since divorce is the final nail in the coffin when it comes to ending a marriage. There are many things to consider – from children to finances.

An expert suggests there are three pertinent questions to ask a spouse before making that final call to formally end things. Firstly, individuals should ask each other and themselves if they'd be happier not being in the relationship. Secondly, if neither person likes who he or she has become in the relationship, that may be a huge red flag. If one person is giving more to make the other happy, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate things. Thirdly, what is each person willing to concede to make the relationship work?

Family law: When an Alberta teen has a drug or alcohol problem

Teens will be teens, but there may be instances when some young people have problems that go beyond those of normal adolescence. When parents in Alberta find out that their teenage son or daughter has a problem with alcohol or drugs, they have the tools within family law that may be able to provide help for them and their children. Many different treatment options are available to a parent who still has decision-making capabilities when their child is below the age of 18.

Counselling may be one of the best options available. Alberta also has residential treatment programs in place that may not only help the teen, but family members who are affected by the addiction such as siblings. There are also day programs that run for about 12 weeks to help these teens to focus on what they need to learn to overcome their addictions.

Family law: Successful co-parenting helps kids cope with divorce

Children often suffer the most when their parents split up. Thankfully, however, there are tools within family law in Alberta that help parents to co-parent their children responsibly even though they're no longer married. Studies have shown that when parents put their differences aside for the well-being of their children, the children move forward in a healthier emotional state.

When parents work on healing their own pain, they also help their kids. Children are very intuitive and may begin acting out or internalizing feelings when they have trouble processing emotions. It is a parent's responsibility to work with the other parent to ensure their children are being parented properly and that their needs -- not only physical, but emotional -- are being met.

Family law solutions: Solving parental alienation issues

Not all divorces end amicably. In fact, some are downright warlike and when kids are involved, there may be something at work called parental alienation. To put it succinctly, that is when one parent undermines the relationship of the other parent with their children. But, there are family law solutions available in Alberta and all of Canada, to try to thwart that from happening.  

Parental alienation stems from a place of anger, resentment and pain according to psychologists. However, when a couple who is divorcing is able to sit down, perhaps with a moderator, and come to some sort of agreement between themselves regarding contentious issues, chances are their emotions won't be pushed onto their children who, sadly, are usually in the middle. When parents realize they're actually hurting their children by demeaning a former spouse in front of the children, they may rethink what they're doing.

The good divorce

While no couple begins their marriage anticipating divorce, a relationship can deteriorate for any number of reasons. With sensationalized stories about feuding celebrity couples dominating the headlines and cautionary tales regarding acrimonious divorces, you'd be forgiven for thinking that parting ways with a partner is a surefire way to end up miserable.


How to avoid divorce regret

Divorce, as is the case with most major life decisions, requires a lot of thought. After all, choosing to part ways with a committed partner isn't something to be taken lightly. As it turns out, many divorced couples ultimately end up regretting their decision which makes tackling the topic even more critical.

How can you ensure that you are making the right decision? While there are no guaranteed ways to find the answer you're looking for, there are certain questions you can, and should, take into consideration.

Alberta’s Influence On Proposed Divorce Act Changes

For the first time in over 20 years, significant changes are being proposed in regards to Canada’s Divorce Act, partly due to Albertan influence. The amendments, if approved, would include a focus on mediation and arbitration as well as swapping out terms such as ‘access time’ and ‘custody’ with the more child-centred ‘parenting time’ and ‘parenting orders’.


The Unique Challenges Of Grey Divorce

Grey divorce, or getting divorced later in life, has become an increasingly common part of the Canadian ageing process. While divorce at any stage is a stressful process, older couples often face issues that their younger counterparts may avoid altogether.


Parental Alienation Syndrome And Family Law

In the process of navigating a divorce, the best interest of children are typically considered a high priority. Parents are inclined to expose their children to the least amount of stress possible and try to help them emerge from the other end generally unscathed.

Unfortunately, divorces often do not proceed smoothly and even the best intentions can yield problematic results. In instances where parents are engaged in a bitter dispute or have opposing views on how to best raise their children, the youngest members of the family often suffer the greatest consequences.

Changes to child support require disclosure to Alberta courts

Change is the only constant in life -- a truism exemplified in the raising of children from infancy to adulthood. Family law, in Alberta as elsewhere, embeds its recognition of children's evolving needs in its definition of child support, as part of the legal imperative of ensuring a child's ongoing well-being. As such, the courts take into account changing needs, lifestyles and, importantly, current incomes when an application to alter child support is made.

Providing financial disclosure statements to the courts -- not just to each party -- has often been, surprisingly, overlooked. Divorces in which the parties have been forthright about their income sources have not, in the past, always filed disclosure papers with the courts as well as with each other. For their part, the courts hadn't always enforced the legal filing of disclosure papers when there was no pressing need to do so.

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